Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Sun, 24 Sep 2000 23:28:24 -0700


Lim Jyue writes,

> I think this is the main problem, as chronologically speaking it
>shouldn't be possible for Z and ZZ naval fleets to be so small, when in 0083
>we see dozens of different capital ships every few episodes.

  Yes, and then they have Gato conveniently blow them all up in the naval
review, so the massive postwar fleet buildup cancels itself out and the
Federal Forces are once again weak and underequipped in Z Gundam. Yawn.

> Fleet tactics seems to be different between the Federation and the
>Zeon Archduchy. Federation ships, with the notable exception of the White
>Base, seems to favour broadside exchanges, whereas Zeon ships seems to be
>built for head on exchanges at range

  Yep, that about sums it up. And as you note, the Zeon ships seem to be
relying on a protective screen of mobile suit to keep them from being
surrounded by Federation ships. The only problem is that, judging from
the original series, this doesn't always work.

  Interestingly, the oldest Zeon ship - the Chibe, built before the
adoption of mobile suits - has forward- & rear-firing turrets like the
Federation ships.

> The White Base is a departure from standardized Federation ships,
>and it seems to copy the Musai arrangements. Whether this is a straight copy
>off the Zeon ships, or a design consideration is of course, open to debate.

  Good point - it has one main gun turret in front, and two fixed
particle guns on the sides, so it's as unidirectional as any Zeon ship.
It's bristling with antiaircraft guns, though...

Dafydd writes,

>I can buy this is the ships are under power, accelerating along their lineof
>flight, but if they're coasting, even at high velocity, they can rotate
on any
>or all three axes just as freely as if they were at rest.

  In theory, yes, but in Gundam this possibility is generally ignored. In
the case of Kishiria's skirmish, though, they're also accelerating
constantly to get through the Federation fleet as quickly as possible.

Ricky Lai writes,

Ricky Lai,

>Economically speaking, wouldn't it make more sense for a ship to fit its
>units with extra propellant tanks or boosters (such as the one for GB-Tetra)
>if the units require such assistance, than wasting money and space mounting
>catapults and decks?

  Absolutely... these will provide more of a boost, too. Maybe the Zeons'
adoption of these tanks towards the end of the war is in lieu of
catapults. (Though the revamped Zeon ships in 0083 all have catapults,
albeit stubby little ones.)

>> I wouldn't put too much stock in 0083 in this repect - their chief
>> concern seems to be making the Zeons look good. In the original series,
>> both Char's and Kishiria's Zanzibars get blown to hell by Salamis
>>cannon fire.

>As well as the Zions deserve to look good! The Feds aren't exactly the
>good guys anyway. Why do they deserve to be praised by the storyline?

  I hope you're being tongue-in-cheek here. Just because people think the
Zeons are cooler, it doesn't mean that the ground rules laid out in
original Gundam should be discarded and all of a sudden the Zeon hardware
is 20 times better than anything the Federation has. Aren't the victories
of the loyal followers of a genocidal maniac that much more glorious, if
their weapons obey the same laws of physics as their enemies'?

  Summary: The Zeon and Federation ship designs represent two different
concepts of naval warfare - the former, one in which capital ships stay
back a respectful distance and bombard each other from afar; the latter,
one where the big ships plunge into the fray and mix it up at close
range, taking their chances with fighters, mobile suits, and anything
else that's in the area. Judging from First Gundam, the Federation
approach was more successful, which explains why it became the standard
design philosophy in later shows. They may be bureaucratic bumblers, and
they may be seriously lagging in the mobile suit department, but I'd say
the Federation has better ships. That's probably part of the reason why
they won the war. ;-)

-- Mark

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